Did baby of homeless woman die in freezing cold or was child stillborn? Authorities disagree

Photo credit: sguler / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Photo credit: sguler / iStock / Getty Images Plus

It's unclear whether the baby of a homeless woman in Oregon was stillborn or died after birth in freezing temperatures, the Willamette Week reports.

According to the Week, a man called 911 early Jan. 9 after he saw the barefoot woman carrying a newborn baby at a Portland bus stop. Temperatures that day dipped below freezing.

First responders told colleagues in text messages that the baby was "conscious and breathing OK, but has been outside this entire time" and was "ice cold." The child was "born in a transient camp," one message said.
The baby was taken to the hospital and later pronounced dead. Meanwhile, police said the infant's 34-year-old mother showed signs of mental illness, telling investigators that she became pregnant by "immaculate conception."
Although two emergency room doctors reportedly told investigators that the baby "appeared to 'be viable,'" the state's medical examiner, Dr. Karin Gunson, said the infant was stillborn after performing an autopsy. 

Because of Gunson's report, the case is now closed, Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson told the Week.

"The medical examiner ultimately is the one who tells us whether the determination was 'stillborn' or 'homicide,'" he said.
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